From WorldNetDaily (WND):
US Plan Gives Jerusalem Holy Sites to Vatican
Secretary of State John Kerry quietly presented a U.S. plan for eastern Jerusalem that calls for an international administrative mandate to control holy sites in the area, according to informed Palestinian and Israeli diplomatic sources.
The exact composition of the international mandate is up for discussion, the sources said, but Kerry’s plan recommended a coalition that includes the Vatican, together with a group of Muslim countries such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
The international arrangement is being proposed as a temporary solution for about two to three years while security arrangements in Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians are finalized, said the sources.
The article is by WND middle-east correspondent Aaron Klein, who has considerable form when it comes to trotting out dramatic claims based on anonymous, vague and unverifiable sources.
What exactly is supposedly being proposed here and why are both hopelessly unclear, although the headline has – predictably – caught the attention of End-Times doom-mongers and “New World Order” cranks. Which authorities from “Turkey and Saudi Arabia” would supposedly be involved? And what would they be expected actually to do?
And as for the Vatican, I suspect that Kerry’s diplomatic duties are onerous enough without mucking about with the status quo, which decrees who at has control of which holy spaces in Jerusalem based on how things stood in 1757. Orthodox Christian groups jealously guard their rights, and the notion that they would allow spaces not already under Roman Catholic control to be “given to the Vatican” is absurd.
If there’s any truth at all in Klein’s report, we’re seeing it through a glass very, very, darkly.
UPDATE: It appears that Klein has garbled the whole thing; here’s Arutz Sheva on 23 December:
The Palestinian Authority (PA) negotiating team has revealed some of contents of the secretive peace talks it has been holding with Israel, under American auspices.
…Concerning Jerusalem, [journalist Baruch] Yedid reveals that discussions revolve around proposals following the model of the Vatican, whereby the Old City and the Temple Mount would be a sort of autonomous region under joint international management, including Israeli and PA representatives.
That makes rather more sense than the Vatican itself having any involvement.
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